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Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Drugstore daddy test

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test.jpgCheck out the latest thing at the local drug store: at-home paternity tests.
 
Drug stores have long sold condoms and pregnancy tests. The next natural step may well be the Identigene DNA Paternity Test Collection Kit, which is now being sold in Rite Aid’s 4,363 drug stores in 30 states and the District of Columbia. (The kits are not available in New York because New York State requires a court order for paternity test, a Rite Aid spokeswoman said.)
 
“Over-the-counter sales offer a completely new marketing channel for DNA testing,” Identigene Chief Operating Officer Doug Fogg said in a press release. “It makes the process more convenient and affordable while ensuring reliability and confidentiality.”
 
The press release also offered this account from an actual user:
 
“Because of my personal circumstances, the day I left the hospital after my son was born I turned in case papers for a paternity test,” said Natalie Maynes of Vancouver, Wash. “Two months went by with no word, so I called. They told me with their waiting list, test results could be up to six months away. That night on the news, I learned I could buy an Identigene DNA Paternity Test Collection Kit at Rite Aid. Taking samples was easy, and it was nice to be able to do it ourselves. Five days later, we had our results.”
 
The suggested price for the test kit is $29.99 and the laboratory processing fee is $119. Test subjects collect a DNA sample by rubbing a swab inside their mouths. The samples are then sent to Identigene for processing.
 
Paternity tests may seem more the province of tabloid television staples like “The Maury Show” but for Rite Aid, offering the tests is a way to be competitive in the drug store business.
 
“Our goal is to be first to market with innovative health care products,” Rite Aid spokeswoman Cheryl Slavinsky said.
 
For Identigene, it’s about meeting a need, as found when the company test-marketed the kits in three states beginning in November.
 
“We learned that people are extremely receptive to the idea of purchasing a DNA paternity test kit while shopping at one of the nation’s leading drug store chains,” Fogg said.
 
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